Frank X Tolbert's Original Texas Chili
2 to 4 Ancho chiles
4-8 small dried red chiles or 2 to 4 tbsp. chili powder
4 tablespoons Vegetable oil
3 pounds Lean beef chuck, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 to 2 cups Beef stock or water
1 Yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Ground cumin
1 tablespoon Ground oregano
½ cup Hungarian sweet paprika
1 or 2 Fresh cilantro sprigs
1/3 cup Finely chopped garlic
- If using chiles, trim the stems and remove seeds. Place in a small saucepan and add water to barely cover. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer the chiles and their soaking water to a blender or a food processor fitted with metal blade. Purée until smooth. Set aside.
- Brown half of the meat in a large skillet in the vegetable oil over high heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat and juices to a heavy pot and add the puréed chiles or chili powder, if using. Place over low heat and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, brown the remaining beef in the same manner, then transfer it and the juices to the pot. Add enough stock or water to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Add the garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, salt to taste, paprika and cilantro and continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, another 30 minutes. Add a little liquid if the mixture begins to stick or looks too dry.
- When the chili is ready, using a large kitchen spoon, skim any fat from the surface. Ladle into bowls and serve.
- Makes 4 to 6 servings.